Learning on the job and gaining experience through an apprenticeship

I’ve just graduated from Lincolnshire Co-op’s apprenticeship programme and landed a job working as a Cruise Specialist at Tritton Road Travel branch. For me, it was a brilliant opportunity; at the end of sixth form I wasn’t keen to move away and I wanted to start work immediately. University just isn’t for some people and I was one of them.

My sixth form sent out emails each week advertising apprenticeships but most of them were in areas like administration, accounting and finance that didn’t especially interest me. When one popped into my inbox advertising Lincolnshire Co-op’s Travel apprenticeship I was immediately intrigued.

I’ve always been attracted to the travel industry and I figured that this was the perfect opportunity to learn first-hand about it.

Growing up locally, I knew that Lincolnshire Co-op was a great business to work for and had always been impressed by everything it does for the community and its employees. I couldn’t wait to apply!

Apprenticeships are the perfect way to learn about a particular industry and gain the skills from your colleagues; it’s more personal learning from other professionals. The support and guidance you get from an apprenticeship is second to none, and the experience is practical, relevant and geared towards what will make you successful. Plus, of course, you get to earn while you learn and get a head-start on your career.

Kelsey on an educational visit to Guernsey that she went on during her time as an apprentice

Kelsey on an educational visit to Guernsey that she went on during her time as an apprentice

I really loved being able to jump straight into work and learn through experience – I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing opportunities like going on educational trips to learn about specific destinations, hotels and cruise ships.

A lot of apprenticeships involve spending time in college to complete the course, but I had a tutor who visited me at work instead, and I just uploaded work to an online portal.

So far I’ve surprised myself with what my apprenticeship has allowed me to achieve – I’m one of Lincolnshire Co-op Travel’s top salespeople and I’ve only been in the business a couple of years. I’ve fallen in love with the travel industry, added loads of relevant experience to my CV and earned an NVQ in customer service.

I love my job and I’d recommend an apprenticeship to anyone. There are opportunities available in all sorts of industries and for me it was the best way to get straight into the workplace, get qualified and start earning.